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Lodge History

 

 

 

Fergus Lodge #135 is about the oldest institution in Loganville, GA. as it was constituted on 30 October 1850.  William Ferguson Kennedy was the first Worshipful Master and the Lodge gets it's name from his middle name.  E. T. Hudson was named the first Secretary during this time.

 

Masonic Loyalty was not dismayed during the calamities of the Civil War.  Past records show regular meetings being held up until the invasion of Sherman's Army and still only showed a lapse of a couple of months due to the loss of the Lodge Charter.

 

In the early days, Lodge meetings were held in rooms at McElvaney's Mill.   In 1863, it moved to Loganville and a building standing on the site of the Old Methodist Cemetary.  This building and all of the Lodge property was distroyed in 1864 by raiders from Sherman's Army on its famous march to the sea.

 

An incident occured at that time which was a forcible and beautiful illustration of Masonic fidelity.  Sherman's raiders, after destroying and burning the Lodge property, carried the Charter away with them and it was found several months later in a branch in Cherokee County by a Mason, who at once, returned it to the then Worshipful Master, J. T. McElvaney.

 

Owing to the fact that this charter as printed on a fine grade of parchment and a superior grade ink was used in the writing of the Officer's and Members, this interesting document is in excellent condition today and is stilleasily read.

 

During the next meeting, the war was drawing to a close and the minutes of that meeting reflect the sorrow and grief of those troubled days and especially of those men who were endeavoring to live up to the high and lofty principles of Masonry in the face of an invading army which left death, dstruction and poverty in its wake.

 

In a resolution embodied in the minutes of that meeting there is a reference to a sorrow occasioned by the sight of so many empty chairs and they mourn the death of those who have passed away in the warfare "but they mourn not as those who mourn without comfort."  A tender tribute is paid to those members who gave thier life for their country.

 

From that day to this, the Lodge has met regularly.  And it Should.  If ever indifference should creep into the Lodge, to the extent of interrupting its session, its members should go back to the Lodge's history and take new inspiration from the courage and faithfulness of its founders.

 

The Lodge is now in flourishing condition.  It has a large membership and is in excellent shape.  The Lodge members have purchased a lot on Broad Street on which they propose to build a handsome Lodge room sometime in the future. 

 

We doubt if there is a stronger Lodge of this order anywhere in the South today.  It's roster of membership includes the best citizens of Loganville and surrounding county for over half a century.

 

After the purchase of the lot on Broad Street, the Lodge was moved to this property.  The Lodge remained at that location for many years and in 1987 was moved to Rock Street where it is currently located.  In 1999, Fergus Lodge members constructed a Fellowship Hall, Frank McCullers Memorial Hall, adjacent to the Lodge building.  Frank McCullers was raised as a Master Mason on 15 November 1946, was Worshipful Master in 1952, served as Chaplain from 1965-1970 and again in 1982 and served as Secretary from 1973-1978.  McCullers coached several members of the Lodge through their degrees and his character both inside and outside of the Lodge influenced many that knew him.  McCuller's skill at cooking barbecue and stew started the Lodge's fund raiser in 1970.  He was a Shriner and a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason.

 

Fergus Lodge continues to grow with a membership just shy of 300.

 

In March of 1995, Julian R. Sellers wrote an interesting article for the local paper regarding the history of the Loganville area.  "Our city will soon be celebrating its 153rd birthday.  As I pondered this I find it hard to seperate this from history of two institutions in the community that preceeded the incorporation of the city in 1887.  Fergus Lodge #135 F&AM, chartered in 1850 and the Loganville Methodist Church, which was located in at least three other locations before the present building was built around 1905. 

 

When the city was first chartered, the city limits were established as extending one half mile in every direction from the Justice of the Peace Courthouse.  But where was the courthouse?  Now this brings us back to Fergus Lodge and the Methodist Church.

 

Old church records show that the church was at one time located on the old Myers place.  In 1854 it was moved and referred to as New Chapel.  This was at a location not far behind where the little league fields are today.  In 1875, the church moved once again to the cemetary across from where the Christian Church stands today.  The cemetary preceeded the church, but became know as the Methodist Cemetary.

 

Now this is where the Lodge came into play.  The church bought the ground from the lodge at a cost of $40.00.  It is not clear whether the lodge building went with the purchase or not.  I have heard it said the first school in Loganville was held in the Lodge building.  The Lodge relocated to it's new location, around 1875, to the location just behind the Methodist Church on Covington Street, where it stood until about ten years ago when they sold the ground to the church and moved the building to Rock Street.  now this brings us down to the location of the courthouse.  The deed to the ground where the lodge stood behind the church, spells out the use of the building.  A two-story building, to be used as a Lodge Hall on the second floor and that the first floor would be used as the Justice of the Peace Courthouse.  That would put the Courthouse about two hundred feet from the city well.  Although the community was known as Buncombe, I have seen letters addressed to Fergus Lodge, Baycreek, GA dated in the 1850's.

 

 

 

 

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